Alyawarr Ingkerr-wenh

CAT Utopia project
CAT Utopia project


Employment is a key aspect to participation and the exercise of the Alyawarr people's right to self-determination.

On the face of it, Alyawarr people are well placed to participate in economic development and employment within the pastoral, tourism, art, health, education and mining industries.

As expected, ILO 169 sets appropriate standards for employment conditions of indigenous workers.

Given the extent of non-participation in employment since the application of industrial rights, particularly in the pastoral industry, the Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) is expected to be a central plank to 'creating the partity' in employment outcomes, as envisaged in the Forrest Report.

The CDEP was developed in Aboriginal communities in the 1970s and was widespread in its zenith by the mid 1990s. Since then, the number of CDEP communities and placements has reduced considerably.

Alyawarr communities strongly favour increased control over CDEP delivery in the form of an Alyawarr Region CDEP program. Each of the Alparrurulam, Owartilla and Epanarra CDEPs operated through the Southern Barkly Aboriginal Corporation (which has since been deregistered).

The Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) is working with the Urapuntja Aboriginal Corporation and Utopia homeland residents to improve the sustainability and self-sufficiency of living conditions in the homelands. For more information, click here. In 2013, CAT received $4.4m in CDEP funding from the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet to strengthen communities and support people living on the homelands through community development and participation opportunities that develop skills, improve capacity, work readiness and employability and link with local priorities.